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Choosing Chicken Chalupas

 I had the pleasure of being a guest at my niece Susan’s home over the weekend as she entertained family with a spread of wonderful food. From appetizers to the main entree of Creamy Chicken Chalupas to Fruit Pecan Dessert, every bite was a treat.

Not only was I excited to get the recipes for my recipe file, but am sure you will enjoy these recipes, too.

If you’re entertaining a large group, Chicken Chalupas are a wonderful idea as the recipe serves 20 and can be prepared the day before. These also freeze well.

Chicken Chalupas

3 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese

3 cups grated cheddar cheese

2 bunches green onion tops, thinly sliced

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 (4.5 oz) can chopped green chiles

16 ounces sour cream

1 (4.25 ounces) can sliced black olives

4 (8 ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cut in 1-inch pieces

20 (6 inch) flour tortillas

Bottled salsa or hot sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine cheeses in a medium bowl and set aside. Combine half of the cheese mixture, half of the green onions, the mushroom and chicken soups, chilies, sour cream and olives in a large bowl. Set aside 1-1/2 cups of this mixture for the topping.  Add the cooked chicken to the cheese mixture for the filling and mix well. Put three heaping tablespoons of filling on each tortilla and roll. Place tortilla seam-side down in a lightly oiled shallow 9- by-13 baking dish. Arrange tortillas in a single layer using two pans if necessary.  Spread reserved topping mixture over tortillas and cover with remaining cheese and onion tops. Refrigerate overnight or freeze. Bake uncovered 45 minutes. Let stand a few minutes before serving. Serve with salsa or hot sauce on the side.

Tex-Mex Won Ton Appetizers

24 won-ton wrappers

9 ounces can bean dip

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

1 1/2 teaspoon taco seasoning

1/8 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese


sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray the mini muffin pans with a cooking spray. Press one won ton wrapper into each muffin cup and press so it stays open and adheres to the sides. Bake the wrappers for approximately seven to nine minutes so the edges start to get golden. Mix the beans, onions and seasonings together. This may be prepared ahead. Fill the cups and top with cheese. Bake approximately five to eight minutes until cups appear crisp and cheese melts. Top with a small dollop of salsa and sour cream. Serve warm.

Easy Fruit Pecan Dessert

2 (20 ounce) cans fruit pie filling

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1/4 cup warm water

1 (1 pound, 2.25 ounces) box white cake mix

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 (8 ounces) package pecan pieces

2 tablespoon warm water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together the pie filling, almond extract and warm water. Spread the mixture in a 9- by-13 inch baking dish. In a separate bowl, mix together the cake mix,  butter, pecan pieces and water. Drop this mixture by teaspoonfuls on top of the fruit mixture until it is completely covered. Bake 40 minutes until top is lightly golden. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

GARY’S TIP: Rub the bottom of babies/small children’s’ feet with Vicks and put on socks to stop coughing due to cold symptoms.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: The happiest conversation is where there is no competition, no vanity, but a calm, quiet interchange of sentiments.